Sleep Apnea Definition and Diagnosis
Dr. Sam Cress,DDS, with Colony Dental in Sugar Land, TX, has extensive experience with addressing sleep apnea issues through the use of a revolutionary oral appliance. Sleep Apnea is related to breathing disturbances during sleep which stops patients from having the ability to get restful sleep. A sleep apnea patient is diagnosed based on an assessment from multiple factors:
- Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI)
- Number of apneas and Hypopneas and Respiratory Effort-Related Arousals (RERA) per hour of sleep.
What is Apnea?
An apnea is the complete cessation of breathing for at least 10 seconds.
What is Hypopnea?
Hypopnea is a decrease in tidal volume of 30 to 50 percent, associated with a fall in oxygen saturation (four percent) or arousal response.
How is the Severity of Sleep Apnea Assessed?
The Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) records respiratory events, but unlike the AHI, includes respiratory event-related arousals (RERAs).
RERAs are arousals from sleep that do not technically meet the definitions of apneas or hypopneas but disrupt sleep.
A sleep apnea patient is diagnosed by a sleep test conducted in a sleep center or verified by a home sleep test. Each patient is evaluated by an assessment of multiple factors.